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Parents Urged To Do Privacy Checks Before Sharing Back-to-school Photos

As the 2024 school year is underway, Police encourage parents and carers to take privacy precautions before posting back-to-school photos online.

Many families use the beginning of the school year as an opportunity to share photos of their children wearing their uniforms, at their school or with other identifying features.

Police acknowledge that sharing these milestones are important to families, but parents and carers should think about who may be able to access these images and more importantly the information that may be found within the images.

While cases of images being used inappropriately are rare, they do happen. And there are instances where innocent images are used in child exploitation material or offenders use information from the images, like school logos, to identify and groom children.

Videos and live streaming can also be included in this, as an offender may capture an image themselves. This is called ‘capping’.

We urge parents and carers to be aware of the risks and be proactive with online safety to keep their information and children safe.

Here is some information to keep safe online:

  • Before sharing images, double-check there are no identifying features such as school uniforms and logos, school buildings or signs, and street signs. If this is unavoidable, parents can easily edit and blur school logos and signs.
  • We recommend that parents and carers research and understand app settings, including privacy settings. This could include turning off location settings or setting profiles to private/friends only.
  • If another person is taking photos of your child, have a discussion around how the photos may be used and how they may be shared.
  • Keeping your child’s personal information including full name and age private. This can also include what year they may be starting as this can indicate age.
  • Seek help and support, and report inappropriate or suspicious behaviour online.

WHERE TO REPORT

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NEW ZEALAND POLICE

105 (non-emergency)

111 (Emergency)

NETSAFE

Text ‘Netsafe’ to 4282

Email: help@netsafe.org.nz(link sends e-mail) (link sends e-mail)

Call us toll free on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)

Online report form at netsafe.org.nz/report

Our helpline is open from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5pm on weekends.

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